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Kvartetten Som Sprangde - Kattvals CD (album) cover

KATTVALS

Kvartetten Som Sprangde

 

Crossover Prog

3.52 | 16 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

ozzy_tom
Prog Reviewer
4 stars "Kattvals" is a little known gem of Swedish 70s prog-rock scene. It's a pity that most of ambitious rock fans don't know "Kvartetten Som Sprängde" band and their only album. Their music is a combination of instrumental psychedelic rock, jazz-rock, heavy prog and some Scandinavian folk influences. Thanks to omnipresent organ floods they can be easily compared to other Swedish group "Hansson & Karlsson", however Finn Sjöberg's electric guitar makes a significant difference and brings to mind parallels to British heavy proggers from "Atomic Rooster".

Let's review these 7 great, instrumental tracks one by one:

1. "Andesamba" - fantastic, slightly schizophrenic beginning full of wild Hammond riffs and busy, Santanesque percussion. After 2 minutes tempo becomes a bit lower and we can enjoy some nostalgic guitar soloing.

2. "På en sten" - jazzy composition with relaxed tempo and non obstructive guitar playing, based upon warm organ background. In the second half of the song Fred Hellman proves that he can play piano as well as organ and Finn Sjöberg supports him with his charming, folk-influenced flute sounds.

3. "Gånglåt från Valhallavägen" - the longest and the best track on the album. I love this Scandinavian folk melody which reminds me of medieval, Viking times of "heroes & dragons" and so on. At first music is led by gorgeous guitar lines and later Hammond "strikes back" with extremely well played, nostalgic notes. There's just impossible that you won't tap your feet while listening to this pure gem. I'm sure that Pär Lindh & Björn Johansson were inspired by this band and were listening to them a lot before their 3 albums - "Bilbo", "Discus Ursi" & "Dreamsongs From Middle Earth" - were recorded.

4. "Kattvals" - track which gave a title for the whole album is a very energetic instrumental full of flashy, almost ELP-ish organ solos. Successful mix of heavy prog soloing, jazzy rhythms and folk guitar melodies.

5. "The Sudden Grace" - another winner of the album! It's mainly Hammond-led freak out but with enough guitar moments to keep everyone happy. Can be easily compared to Atomic Rooster's instrumentals but it's more melodic and restraint.

6. "Vågspel" - it's a composition which the most reminds me music of "Hansson & Karlsson" duo. Situation of complete lack of guitar gives a space for melancholic organ floods. Really relaxed, highly melodic piece.

7. "Ölandsshuffle" - very energetic but slightly too repetitive tune, this time rather dominated by guitar riffs, however Fred also plays 2 tasteful jazzy organ solos here. Nothing special but enjoying track.

Overall "Kattvals" is a hidden gem of Swedish music which should be especially entertaining for fans of organ-driven prog-rock with melancholic, "Scandinavian" feel, just like "Hansson & Karlsson", "Fläsket Brinner", "Sound Express", "Råg i Ryggen", "Swedish Family", "Bootcut" and "Pär Lindh & Björn Johansson". Fans of "Atomic Rooster" and early "Santana" should also like these exciting organ/guitar duels included on the album.

Surely worth 4 solid stars.

ozzy_tom | 4/5 |

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